I’ll admit I wasn’t blown away when Steven Pienaar joined Tottenham Hotspur in the January transfer window from Everton. Simply because it was clear he was going to supersede Niko Kranjcar in the squad pecking order the minute he arrived (and that’s exactly what happened).
I thought he flattered to deceive in his first few performances and was trying too hard to catch up with the Tottenham Hotspur style of play. In his defence, he was still finding his feet off the pitch in terms of settling in London and getting used to his new surroundings at Spurs Lodge. I concede it’s never easy to acclimatise with a new club when you switch sides halfway through a season (ask Fernando Torres).
From what I’ve seen on Pienaar to date he seems to be a solid, hardworking versatile midfielder. He's clearly a decent little footballer, with a very good work ethic. He’s fit enough to chase lost causes in the middle of the park and it’s clear he’s a real workhorse. Pienaar covers almost positions on the pitch, including left wing, centre midfield, right wing and second striker if need be. Pienaar also appears tenacious in his play, he’s always looking to move the ball on quickly which really suits our game.
I do wish Pienaar could be more composed when in the final third of the pitch. He seems to rush his decision making whether it’s for a defence splitting pass or shot on goal. That said, he’ll also become a useful player to have on the bench when we want to add some grit to the midfield.
I presume Pienaar will come into his own the longer he remains with us. He’ll become a key member of our squad in our chase for 4th place and in the UEFA Champions League. He’s turned 29 last week and he should now be in his peak years as a professional footballer. Hopefully, Tottenham will see a maximum return from Steven Pienaar. Time will tell.